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Wind plays havoc with Snowflake's racing

PUBLISHED: 10:35 14 February 2018

Action from Snowflakes Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

Action from Snowflakes Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

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Snowflakes Sailing Club's weekend racing started with bright sunshine and a keen wind with strong gusts.

Action from Snowflakes Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy WildmanAction from Snowflakes Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

Three Yeoman set out, but only one managed to complete the race – Yeoman 103, Kittiwake, sailed by Ian Hanson and Q Stewart.

The other two said the gusts past buoy three were too much for safe sailing when they were so close, and retired.

There were 11 dinghies, a mix of Lasers, Laser Radials and Toppers, at the start of their first race. The gusts were very fluky and the clouds got darker as the race progressed. Several sailors were caught unawares by the sudden gusts during the race and three Lasers retired, one of which ended up on the bank by buoy three and one broke a tiller.

The two Toppers kept going, despite several sudden capsizes. During the race the wind changed direction and it became calmer. The results, after handicap was applied, were very close; just one second separated first and second places with Matthew Thwaites sailing Tigger, Laser 137349 first, Chris Haslam second (Laser Radial 180316, Perdey) and Toby Pearce third (Laser Radial 201707).

Action from Snowflakes Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy WildmanAction from Snowflakes Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

The second race saw only the dinghies venture out. Again, the wind and gusts were fluky with the wind dropping several times during the race, forcing two dinghies to retire.

Matthew Thwaites and Chris Haslam led again but this time they were closely followed by Edward Wildman (Laser Radial 179851), Toby Pearce and Richard Whitefoot (Laser 119290, Booty). Throughout the race the leaders kept together, despite being caught by gusts and some high-speed sailing towards the clubhouse. This time Chris Haslam (Laser Radial 180316, Perdey) was first, Tom Thwaites in Topper 5 was second and Edward Wildman (Laser Radial 179851) third after handicap was applied.

After lunch, the third race saw a much-reduced fleet. Five Lasers were brave enough to venture out with the wind getting up just at the start and then changing its mind at various points. Chris Haslam again took the honours, but Richie Dugdale, sailing the Commodore’s Laser Radial 5548, Smoke on the Water, came second and Curtis Drew was third in Laser 149617.

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